Al Matcott shares new single “Justine” | Debut EP “You Can Be Anyone” out 6th August


Credit: Rick Clifford Today, Australian songwriter Al Matcott returns with a new single titled “Justine”. The song follows his recent debut single “Mediocre” and is taken from his eagerly anticipated EP “You Can Be Anyone”, which is out 6th August via Al’s own imprint Skip Hero Records. The distortion heavy new single ‘Justine’ shows an entirely different dynamic in Matcott’s songwriting, evoking Pixies as much as indie-folk bands such as The Middle East. At once emotive and anthemic, the vocals still carry an underlying roots inflection but twisted through dark, driving overtones as the instrumentation flexes through moments of noise-laden disquiet and fuzz drenched power-pop uplift. Speaking about the single Matcott says, “Justine’s about the titular character from the Marquis de Sade’s novel. I finished reading it when I was feeling burnt out on tour in Adelaide. The whole book is her being mistreated by the world and (spoiler alert) it doesn’t end well. I imagined a different ending where she unleashed righteous vengeance on the world. It felt pretty metal. My bassist Brendan and I fucked around with the track - I had a psych bridge in mind and he added some backing harmonies which added some melodrama. Wouldn’t recommend the book though. 4 out of 10.” The new single is also accompanied by another lo-fi video directed by Michael Ridley. You can check it out here:

Al Matcott – “Justine” Formally a drummer and guitarist/singer in a variety of bands (Euphoriacs, Honey Badgers and Buried Feather), after a while Al Matcott finally decided to focus on the twanging, narrative-driven material that continually surfaced during his songwriting process. That somewhat belated turn to classic singer/songwriter mode wasn’t daunting to him. “They’re all my stories,” says Matcott. “I don’t want to hide them behind anything.” It also brought him back around to the folk music that has followed him all his life, thanks to his mother taking him along to folk festivals as a kid. Meanwhile, his drum teacher father ensured that he was behind the kit from a young age. Those two sides – rock and folk – have spelled equal appeal for him ever since. Matcott’s winding path to debuting as a solo artist took him on an extended haul outside Australia: first going to South America to teach English and then relocating to New Zealand with his Canadian partner. There he bought a guitar and began work on the songs that we’re starting to hear now. He would bring them back home with him soon after, recording them at his mother’s house in Castlemaine in regional Victoria. His debut offering ‘Mediocre’ was everything you’d want in a calling card. The roots-inflected single draws on Matcott’s hazy alt-indie sensibilities and distils them into something that is at once candid and expansive. His natural drawl feels lived-in and relaxed, even when Matcott dispenses withering lyrics and layered wordplay. A pointed takedown of people who don’t bother holding themselves to account, the song follows glistening guitar licks and his deceptively casual delivery to a dry, stinging chorus: “You could be anyone / Why would you choose to be / such a mediocre person?”

Al Matcott - "Mediocre"

Outside of “Mediocre”, his other songs strike a tonal balance between light and dark, melody and noise. “It’s not all breezy,” Matcott admits, noting his goal to achieve not just satisfying quiet/loud dynamics within the songs but textured plays of brightness and shadow. Adding to the gravity are the songs’ refusal to resolve quickly, often stretching past the five-minute mark into unexpected terrain – see the saloon-style piano outro that follows the stormy climax of ‘The Truthseeker’. Once he’d returned to Australia, Matcott secured a warm-sounding, in-demand backing band: bassist Brendan West (Goldminds), who recorded the songs, guitarist Steve McLennan (Buried Feather), and drummer Miranda Holt (Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice). Other guests pop by to contribute steel guitar or violin, deepening the country and folk influences on display. Though Matcott says his solo work is most often compared to Pavement – see the way the guitars curl and ring with knowing nonchalance as in “Friend of us All” – that’s not actually a band he’s ever listened to much. Bright Eyes might be closer to the mark, with an equally engaging solo or full-band live show already garnering slots at Boogie Festival and Brunswick Music Festival. Like the rest of us, Matcott is itching to return to full capacity following the past year’s worldwide upheavals. “Once lockdown hit, I picked up the guitar and started writing a whole new pack of songs,” he recalls. “I think I write as catharsis. The songs off this EP I wrote back in New Zealand in part to deal with how isolated I felt. When lockdown hit it only makes sense, I dove back into writing to get through it.” As the lockdown continues to ease Matcott is keen to get back out to perform his new material, and as such has also announced details of an Australian EP release tour to take place in September 2021. He will play the following dates: Fri 3rd Sept –Tansell’s Hotel, Beechworth Sat 4th Sept – Vic On The Park, Sydney Sun 5th Sept –North Gong Hotel, Wollongong Fri 17th Sept - The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne Sun 19th Sept – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine “I’m just keen to get this stuff out into the world,” he says. And once the world hears these songs, they should be willing to follow his acutely observed and emotionally rich story-songs wherever they might lead.

“You Can Be Anyone” EP 6th August Skip Hero Records Tracklisting: 1. The Truthseeker 2. Mediocre 3. Justine 4. Friend Of Us All Follow Al Matcott: Facebook Twitter Instagram Website Soundcloud YouTube